Weekly SEO news: 2 October 2007
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

This week, we're taking a look at the most important factor for successful search engine optimization (it's not inbound links).

In the news: Yahoo searchers click more often, Live Search has a major update, Google recommends to use the meta description tag and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. The most important factor for successful SEO (hint: it's not inbound links)

If you want to get high rankings on search engines then you have to consider many different factors.

On-page factors and off-page factors

Regarding on-page factors, the content of your web pages is important, the position of your keywords in your web page elements is important, the keyword density matters and much more.

When it comes to off-page factors, the number of the links that point to your website is very important. It's also important that the the links to your website contain your keywords and that the links are from related websites.

All of these factors are important. However, there is another factor that is even more important than the other ones. That single factor will determine whether your search engine optimization activities will be successful or not.

A single factor is more important than all other factors

You might have lots of inbound links with the anchor text "my great product" and your web page might be perfectly optimized for the keyword "my great product".

You might even be number 1 on Google for the keyword "my great product": if the wrong people or too few people search for that keyword then your SEO efforts will be in vain. The most important factor that decides whether you succeed or not are the keywords that you choose for promoting your website.

If you target the wrong keywords, you'll waste a lot of time, energy and money.

Don't think that you already know the answer

Many webmasters think that they already know the best keyword for their websites. If they haven't done some research, they are usually wrong. There are several reasons for that:

  • You know your business much better than anybody else. You know the special terms that are used in your branch and you know what you should search for when you're looking for products like yours.

    Your customers don't know as much as you. They don't know your terminology and they might use totally different keywords.

  • Did you consider the intention of the searcher? Just because a keyword is used very often on search engines it doesn't mean that you'll get many customers. People who find your website through a special keyword might not be interested in purchasing.

It's very important that you take some time to find the best keywords for your website. The time and efforts that you invest in finding the right keywords will pay back in no time.

Effective keywords must be popular, specific, and they must be used by motivated searchers. Detailed information on how to find the best keywords can be found in our free SEO book.

2. Search engine news of the week
Search Fulfillment: Yahoo! is best of breed

"Yahoo! pretty much takes the cake on this one with about 75% of searches performed on Yahoo! in August resulted in a referral. By comparison, searches on Google result in a referral about 65% of the time and searches on MSN/Live result in a referral about 59% of the time.

Lower search fulfillment numbers mean that on a percentage basis fewer search queries on that engine resulted in the searcher clicking on a result link."

Introducing...the new Live Search

"This week we’re excited to launch a major update to Live Search that’s relevant, faster and easier to use.  Hundreds of us rolled up our sleeves and dug deep.  [...] How major is this? It's our biggest update since our debut in January 2005."

Google: Improve snippets with a meta description makeover

"The quality of your snippet — the short text preview we display for each web result — can have a direct impact on the chances of your site being clicked (i.e. the amount of traffic Google sends your way). We use a number of strategies for selecting snippets, and you can control one of them by writing an informative meta description for each URL."

Editor's note: You can quickly edit the meta descriptions of your web pages with the website optimization editor.

Search engine newslets

  • Yahoo has updated its ranking algorithm.
  • MSN updates the AdCenter ranking formula.
  • Google Street View comes to Europe.
  • Steve Jobs, motivational speaker for Yahoo.
  • Discovery Channel selling hidden links?
  • Search engine Wisenut is no more.
  • Google buys mobile social network Zingku.
  • Strange Google News headlines.
3. Articles of the week

Does Google really take privacy seriously?

"It is becoming very concerning that cross site scripting (XSS) attacks on Google services have become a common headline in the news recently. We only hear about the holes that are publicly disclosed — but you can bet there are many others that go unreported and are abused without you or Google even knowing.

Mr. Google goes to Washington

"As a relative newcomer to the world of politics, there’s been a perception that the whiz kids had lot of catching up to do. [...]

According to Google’s filing, the company spent about $580,000 lobbying the federal government during the first six months of this year."

The search for DMOZ

"We made some significant upgrades to our back-end systems to improve the stability of DMOZ. One of those changes required changing the root domain from dmoz.org to www.dmoz.org. What we all witnessed yesterday and what was reported by the great sites above was part of an index recognizing, adjusting and updating in real time."


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4. Recommended resources

"IBP improved our ranking on Google."

"I just wanted to let you know that after a website redesign, using IBP, our web site www.bunkbedking.com is now on page 2 of Google search for our main keyword.

This after being nowhere for the last 12 months. Now utilizing ARELIS to get quality links to further improve our page rank and search position. Thanks!"
Kelley, www.bunkbedking.com

Get your site mentioned in front of 140,000+ subscribers

    We want to hear from you about your successes with IBP or ARELIS. Just write us 2-3 sentences and you might get featured in this newsletter along with your web site address.


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